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Weddings that aren't: Douglas, Zeta-Jones, Madonna, Ritchie
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April 4, 2000
Innovative career move for 'NYPD Blue'
By ROGER ANDERSON Scripps Howard News Service
CAREER MOBILITY (1): Jaded as you are about actors in hit TV programs leaving to become big movie stars, no doubt you will be gratified to hear that Andrea Thompson has dreamed up a whole new variation on the concept.
Andrea, who has been portraying the statuesque Detective Jill Kirkendall for the last four seasons on "NYPD Blue," is abandoning the show to become
- Proprietor of a bowling alley in Portland, Me.
- A candidate for Congress in Worcester, Mass.
- A local TV news anchorwoman in Albuquerque, N.M.
IMAGINE YOUR SURPRISE: The answer is 3.
"I was a little upset about that," he tells a British TV station. "We've never considered that a possibility." Next thing you know they'll be saying she's pregnant or something.
"I've always been a news junkie," Andrea says, coyly implying that this constitutes an explanation.
CAREER MOBILITY (2): We have asked a trained team of rhetoricians to translate the following USA Today item into plain English.
"Screen star Geena Davis plans to return to TV after a 15-year absence, agreeing to star in an ABC sitcom this fall. Tentatively titled 'Lost & Found,' the show would star Davis as a city-dwelling career woman who falls in love with a suburban widower with two kids."
TRANSLATION: "Geena Davis, whose film career has been severely battered by big box-office flops, some of them directed by her former husband, Renny Harlen, has decided to opt for a regular paycheck while the opting's good."
READING BETWEEN THE LINES: Speaking, of "news," CBS has been foisting its new morning program, "The EarlyShow" - starring the beleaguered Bryant Gumbel, who is somehow managing to give high-profile celebrity divorce a bad name - on the viewing public for fully three months now. The show, in case you hadn't heard, is not doing well. What do those responsible have to say for themselves?
Executive producer Steve Friedman: "Hey, it's a tough road, we admit it. We probably underestimated the entrenchment of the morning audience."
(Many a promising television program has foundered on the rocks of entrenchment underestimation, it's quite true.)
CBS News president Andrew Heyward: "No one expected this to be a quick fix. We've spent decades being an also-ran. You can't reverse that in five months. You just have to be patient."
TRANSLATION: "Just don't give Bryant our new home phone numbers."
MEMO TO 'EARLY SHOW': Once Andrea Thompson has learned the ropes in Albuquerque, bring her in as Bryant's second banana. A fresh face might do wonders. And, as we mentioned, she's statuesque, potentially a nice offset to Bryant himself, who has been described as "statue-like."
HARD LINES: If you think you have it tough, consider what TV stars like Heather Locklear and Barry Bostwick of "Spin City" are having to go through now that their program is moving from New York to L.A.
"We sold everything when we came here to do the show," Barry laments. "We brought everything, every stick of furniture to New York. And last summer, we brought the last box of knickknacks. But we're going to stay here (in N.Y.), and I'm just going to fly back and forth on weekends." Which is exactly what people on welfare often have to do when they have bicoastal commitments.
PINT-SIZE PROFESSIONAL: It should go without saying that Oscar winner Kevin Spacey and 11-year-old Oscar nominee Haley Joel Osment have been making a motion picture together, and that Kevin gives the lad high marks indeed.
"Haley is an extraordinary talent who is totally committed to the work," Kevin tells a reporter. "We were doing this scene, and after the third take everyone felt we had gotten it. But Haley says, 'We have to do it again. I wasn't there enough for you.' No one thought it was necessary, but he insisted. So we did it, and he was right. It was better on the fourth try." He sounds even more annoying than most children.
THE DOUGLAS/ZETA-JONES NUPS: We're happy to report that Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones are still planning to become married to each other. However, Michael brands as fallacious a recent report that they had ponied up $79,000 to reserve Skibo Castle in Scotland for the event.
Roger Anderson is arts and entertainment editor at Scripps Howard News
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